Gotham Review: “Spirit of the Goat”

It's Starting Again

– Spoiler Review –

“Spirit of the Goat” gave us a Gotham that was comfortable in its skin and highly enjoyable, a real first for the series. Instead of a pretty standard police case, this one kept me guessing, as it teased a more comic book-like and possibly supernatural villain. “Spirit’s” more focused tale helped strengthen the procedural elements for once by not following around every character introduced thus far, but time spent with Cobblepot and Nygma fell flat this week.

Ending Gotham TV Show Reviews (9/26/15)

I probably should’ve done this more formally back when I called it quits with the show after its umpteenth break during the first season, but I won’t be reviewing this series anymore. I had been holding out hope the show would get better for the second season and the creative team behind it were saying all the right things, but the S2 premiere was just more of the same. Sure, there’s some promise for better things ahead in it so I’ll be tuning in, but this is more in regards to my own personal time constraints and my sanity. Sorry and thanks for checking out Mynock Manor for details on Gotham and I seriously hope the show hits its stride soon. We still have plenty of content on the site so browse around before heading somewhere else!

Why Are We Visiting HerDon’t get me wrong, Robin Lord Taylor continues to own the Penguin role like none other, but the material he’s saddled with this week felt very unnecessary. The introduction of his mother in “Selina Kyle” was just as out of place as his return home to her here. It partially has to do with his mother’s eccentrics, but also because these scenes don’t really seem to help Cobblepot or give any reason to even include his mother in the series.

HIEdward Nygma got a greatly expanded role, helping with the case, but one part of his scenes had me asking why even include it? His scenes flirting? horrifying? or whatever he was trying to do with Kristin Kringle of the GCPD’s record department weren’t funny, enduring, or cute, which I’m assuming they were meant to be. It also left me wondering if she’s important beyond that scene? While it did flesh out Nygma a tad, it didn’t add any new dimension to the character, besides giving him the blindingly obvious coffee mug with a question mark on it.

Eager BullockBesides those setbacks, the rest of the hour was entertaining. The flashback to Harvey Bullock and his then partner Dix working the first Goat case was great to see, as Bullock in the Gordon boy scout role was a new layer for the now grumpy detective, and Donal Logue really played the switch up well. It’ll be interesting to see/hear how he went from being like Gordon to the man he is today when and if the show chooses to tell that story. At the same time, Bullock is now to me a much stronger and more interesting character than Gordon. Anyways, the Goat killer in the past nearly got the better of the two detectives after Bullock didn’t listen to Dix’s golden rule of Gotham: No heroes. But before Bullock blasts him away, the Goat killer spouts some nonsense, warning him the Goat will always return. I was really excited to see the first real comic book-like villain, seeing as a spirit possessing things is well within a DC world, and the episode kept me guessing if it would be like that until the end.

Relationship WoesBack in the present, someone’s following the Goat’s MO of knocking off rich socialite’s children and greatly upsetting Bullock, since it took till three women died before he stopped the killer the last time. Meanwhile, Gordon is negotiating with Barbara, continuing his stubbornness of silence despite promising her the truth, as an extension of the relationship drama neither character really deserved to deal with in the first place. However, their coming to terms didn’t feel as forced as Gordon refusing to tell her things he has told so many other people already and a nice step in the right direction.

Barbara’s scenes with Montoya highlight the reason why Gordon shouldn’t have had a problem telling Barbara everything in the first place: it’s only once Gordon gets arrested (or Penguin’s survival becomes public) that Falcone and those behind the conspiracy would go after Barbara. They weren’t going to know he told her either way, so them having to break up because he was afraid to tell her continues to be a poor plot point.

Bullock and Nygma On the CasesThe amount of police work Gordon and Bullock do here is impressive and actually more involved than they’ve gotten all season. They talk to the first victim’s parents, where they meet the family therapist, her ‘comatose’ mother, and her father with a horribly noticeable habit of clenching his fist. A second victim is taken, so they try to find an overlap between workers who have access to both buildings/homes, much like the original Goat. Everything points to a copy-cat, until Bullock reveals the freaky but interesting detail kept out of public knowledge the first time around: the Goat sewed pennies inside his victims and so too does this new one. I was pretty sure at this point the Goat was part of a more supernatural element for the show and I was excited Gotham was going to go there so early.

HypnotherapistTheir overlap in workers list provides a hit, and the building we saw in the opening is where Bullock and Gordon take down the new Goat. The new Goat won’t talk, so Gordon heads home to finally reveal all to Barbara. Bullock watches the silent, resolute Goat who suddenly starts clenching his fist and talking, completely unaware of how he got into custody. Bullock puts two and two together (as with the past weeks the element to solve the case has been a purely visual clue) and realizes the therapist has hypnotized the Goats; His confrontation with the therapist was easily this episode’s best part as their conversation and her righteous feelings were a lot of fun. I was slightly disappointed the “Goat” thing was just people being hypnotized, but it felt right within the heightened realism of Gotham and as part of a world where one day Batman will appear. Hopefully this show can have more fun cases like this one as it progresses.

Gordon ArrestedJust as Gordon is about to be thrown into jail for the ‘murder’ of Cobblepot, guess who appears to save the day? I’m happy the show didn’t drag out Cobblepot’s return to Gotham City and going unnoticed by those who wanted him dead for too long, which makes for a very exciting development which promises to shake things up on the kinda stale Gotham. Gordon is no longer Falcone’s or Maroni’s man, free from the fake blackmail they had over him. But just as Gordon and Bullock were seeming to get along, this revelation looks to throw a big old wrench in things.

JOKER WATCH:

My eyes and ears didn’t catch anything related to the joker, but again Anthony Collado has an inkling of a reference (who’s helped in the previous weeks): he pointed out Cobblepot’s mom suggests Penguin ran off with a painted woman, which could be a reference to Harley Quinn. Whether or not that’s what it means, I don’t think we’ll be getting any more obvious Joker hints in awhile, but as always keep a look out. Help the search on Twitter using the #JokerWatch hashtag or e-mail me at mynock.manor@gmail.com.

Here are a few other things:

  • So Montoya and her MCU partner finally decided to canvas the dock area where Gordon supposedly killed Cobblepot? Why did they wait so long to do the most obvious piece of detective work ever?
  • A little too convenient the building the Goat used the first time is still standing 10 years later.
  • When Bullock confronts the therapist, he starts the convo with the awkward joke/jab, “Therapist. Could be the rapist.” Other than that moment the conversation was the best part of the episode.
  • Both Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne get their “We’re still in this show” appearance. Bruce: Just to point out he’s still working on his conspiracy theory board; Selina: To steal a random (but probably important) object from the Wayne manor while Bruce sleeps, because, well, NEWSFLASH she’ll be Catwoman one day.
  • Gordon makes more speeches about the corruption, but continues to do nothing about it besides solve crimes.
  • You’ll have to decide if the Goat’s mask was too obviously like Batman’s or not yourself.

 

“Spirit of the Goat” highlighted the potential strengths of the show, but also highlighted why the series’ attempt to introduce and flesh out so many characters while leaving little time spent fleshing out the ones that should be as misguided. But “Goat” was Gotham‘s best yet, offering a fun case, while trying to move past the relationship drama and paying off a big plot point from the pilot with the promise of shaking up the status quo.

+ Goat case

+ Bullock (past and present)

+ Penguin and Gordon’s secret revealed

 Nygma flirting

 Penguin’s mother

Ryan is Mynock Manor’s Head Butler. You can follow him on Twitter @BrushYourTeeth. You can follow the website @MynockManor.

GOTHAM REVIEWS:
S1, Ep. 12: “What the Little Bird Told Him
S1, Ep. 11: “Rogues’ Gallery
S1, Ep. 10: “Lovecraft
S1, Ep. 9: “Harvey Dent
S1, Ep. 8: “The Mask
S1, Ep. 7: “Penguin’s Umbrella
S1, Ep. 5: “Viper
S1, Ep. 4: “Arkham
S1, Ep. 3: “The Balloonman
S1, Ep. 2: “Selina Kyle
S1, Ep. 1: “Pilot

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